The presence of a father is essential in the life of a child. A vast majority of the violence that has taken place in urban areas across America is a result of the lack of guidance and the presence of a father. A father represents strength, stability and love. The absence of these traits in the life of a young Black man can prove to be fatal.
Father’s Day is upon us and we are taking time to talk to the men who have stood up and done what is necessary to raise their children. We honor and respect these men for what they do.
We spoke to father J.R. Bang about his journey with fatherhood. He talks about the importance of reading to his child and establishing trust.
Describe what makes being a father special.
Hard to place it in words. Everyday I think about it and still can’t put it in words.
What is the mission of a father?
At least for me it is to make sure I give my son, my family the best quality of life to grow and succeed. To build a foundation for my son so his generation is secure.
What would you share with a new father about reading to his child?
It’s a must. My father and grandfather read to me as a child. It helps build their learning skills and prepare them for school early. I’m glad my son grabs a book a day to have us read to him and [he’s] learned some words already.
How have you established trust with your child?
Talk to him. My son is one, so changing diapers, turning to TV to Mickey Mouse and playing basketball is enough. I try to have conversations and hold him as much as I can so he feels secure.
How do you play a role in the education of a child?
Read, read and more reading. Not just bedtime stories either. Just grab a book and read off words, animals, sounds to them. As soon as possible.
Describe the top moment that encourages you to push forward because of something your child did or said.
Just being born. I knew as hard as I worked, I had to step it up. Kids are expensive. I also wanted to make sure my family was straight and they are. His birth gave me the extra motivation to not give up.
What have you learned about yourself because of your child?
That I was curious to learn and I pick up things quickly as a child.
What is your best memory with your father?
My father showing up to my football practice for the first time. It was also with my grandfather. I felt like I was superman. He worked during the day so he couldn’t come to a lot of my games so him randomly showing up to a practice meant a lot.
Being a father is … the best feeling ever.
Give whatever you did not get from father because … you get to break the cycle.
When I hug my child I fee l…my son is safe.
I teach my child … as much as he can learn at one.
When I see my child my … future.
Fathers should … Nurture and develop their kids.
I want my child to say his father … was the best.